Khaing Roe La/ DMG

March 6, Mrauk-U

Rakhine State’s General Administration Department receives further resignations of village administrators on March 4 after about 90 village administrators in Mrauk-U Township had resigned.

More villagers decided to resign from their post fearing their safety in the wake of arrests of another four village administrators from Mrauk-U Township in late February.

U Maung Kyaw Win, administrator for Wai Thar Li village, told the DMG that they resigned from their posts because they were concerned they could be arrested like four village administrators from Pyaing Cha, Pauk Pin Gwin, Yan Aung Pyin and Kyaukse Pyin. Police detained on February 28 while they were in a meeting at Mrauk-U township administration office.

“Four village administrators were arrested while attending a monthly meeting. We decided to file our resignations because we feel we would become helpless if something ominous happened. We might be arrested like the other administrators and we thought that we should stop our administrative duties,” he said.

The 11 village administrators who tendered their resignations are from Wai Thar Li, Nyaung Pin Lae, Thin Pan Kaing, Tan Tin, Kalaka, Thu Nge Daw, Kin Sake, Pyar Dae, Kyane Chaung, Zee Bin Gyi and Thabaw villages.

The DMG could not reach Mrauk U Township Administrator for comment. They were on trip while 89 village administrators were filing their resignations on March 1, U Maung Kyaw Win said.

About 90 village administrators collectively submitted their resignations on March 1 after their emergency meeting in the wake of the arrests of four village administrators for questioning by police on February 28 while they were at the monthly meeting held at the old office of township administration department.

They resigned because they said that if they continued to perform their duties they could face arrest just like village administrators from some townships in Rakhine State were arrested under the Unlawful Associations Act. The regional administrators feel that there is no person, or organization or department to protect us, they become targets due to the lack of security.

The State’s General Administration Department has responded that it has currently refused to accept their resignation letters because they are invalid.

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